The Soldier's Return

by Melvyn Bragg

Sam comes home, from fighting in Burma, to his wife and young son. Though very much in love rebuilding the relationship after years apart proves to be hard work. The picture of life in Wigton in 1946 rings true, after all that Sam has been through isn't he entitled to expect a better life? The tension mounts and so does the unhappiness, I really, really wanted them to come through and stay together.


But it was Ellen who threw back the door, knowing it was him, it had to be him, four years, more than four years, how many letters? The loneliness, the fear, there he was, brown and smart in his demob suit, his arms reaching out the moment he saw her, the strain of wonder and such a smile on his face. She in the plum dressing-gown, no time to get ready, looking so lovely, he thought, how could he have forgotten how lovely? The eyes dark, almost as black as the hair which smothered his face as he closed his eyes though he wanted to see all of her, touch all of her, knowing he would remember for ever the force of those arms flung around his neck.


My Oedipus Complex and Other Stories by Frank O'Connor
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